Is Oral Sex A Sin?


Contrary to popular belief, the Bible isn’t prudish when it comes to sexual intimacy and its various expressions. In fact, some passages describe what many would consider graphic depictions of sex through poetic metaphors. Many people know that intercourse is celebrated in the Bible due in part to the command to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28), but what does it say about oral sex?

Many Bible scholars believe that oral sex is not only mentioned but celebrated in the Song of Solomon. Because the descriptions are embedded in Hebrew poetry, the interpretation of certain details is debated. Others teach that oral sex is permissible under the New Testament’s principles for marriage.

Is oral sex reserved for marriage only in Christianity? Are there physical risks to having oral sex before marriage? Does the Bible command married couples to have oral sex? What verses from Song of Solomon refer to oral sex? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see Is Smoking Weed A Sin? to learn more.

oral sex marriage
Does the Bible command married couples to have oral sex? See below

Is oral sex reserved for marriage only in Christianity?

The Bible teaches that oral sex is sex and should be saved for marriage. Some Christians argue that only intercourse must be saved for marriage, but the majority interpret the Bible to teach that any and all sexual stimulation should be reserved for after a man and woman are wed.

Does the Bible command married couples to have oral sex? No. Christian husbands and wives aren’t obligated to have oral sex. While some Christians believe that the Bible instructs married couples to have intercourse (e.g. “be fruitful and multiply”), the same cannot be said for oral sex because no children result from the act.

His the book, The Scriptures, Sex, and Satisfaction, Harry McGee offers Christians the following principles for sexual relations in a biblical marriage:

  1. Sexual relations within marriage are holy and good (Hebrews 13:4).
  2. Pleasure in sexual relations (like pleasure in eating or in the performance of other bodily functions) is not forbidden but rather assumed (Proverbs 5:18-19 and Song of Solomon).
  3. Sexual pleasure is to be regulated by the key principle that one’s sexuality does not exist for himself or for his own pleasure, but for his partner.
  4. Sexual relations are to be regular and continuous.
  5. The principle of mutual satisfaction means that each party is to provide the sexual enjoyment which is “due” his or her spouse whenever needed.
  6. There is to be no sexual bargaining.
  7. Sexual relationships are equal and reciprocal (P&R Publishing, 1975)

How can Christian couples decide whether or not to participate in oral sex? A common verse used to decide optional matters in the Christian life (sexual or otherwise) is 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” This verse addresses optional matters in three ways:

  • Is the behavior lawful? For example, drinking alcohol isn’t an “optional matter” for those under 21 years old in America, but it is for those 21 and older. Oral sex isn’t unlawful, so in that sense it’s permissible.
  • Is the behavior helpful? Marriages come in all shapes and sizes and what is “helpful” to one couple may not be to another. A Christian couple needs to communicate with each other about how “helpful” is defined in the context of their sexual relationship when it comes to oral sex.
  • Is the behavior enslaving? The Bible celebrates sex in the context of marriage, and specifically intercourse. Becoming addicted to another form of sexual expression could lead to devaluing intercourse, especially if only one spouse is fulfilled by it.

Christian husbands and wives need to communicate with each other about their preferences, wants, needs, and fears. Husbands and wives should work to be selfless, understanding, compassionate, and loving.

Are there physical risks to having oral sex before marriage? Some people believe that oral sex is safe sex, so there is less risk to it when compared to intercourse, which can result in pregnancy. While oral sex won’t result in pregnancy, it can and does spread sexually transmitted diseases. [1]

Also see Is Getting Drunk A Sin? to learn more.

Song of Solomon sex
What verses from Song of Solomon mention oral sex? See below

Bible verses about oral sex

As the reader will see, the verses below are filled with metaphorical language that is common to Hebrew poetry. Because of this, scholars don’t universally agree about how to interpret the descriptions and symbols. Yet for those who believe Song of Solomon mentions oral sex, the verses below are commonly cited.

Song of Solomon 4:16

ESVAwake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits.
NIVAwake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.
NLTAwake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
NASBAwake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!

Also see Is Fear A Sin? to learn more.

Song of Solomon 2:3

ESVAs an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
NIVLike an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
NLTLike the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.
NASBLike an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Song of Solomon 8:1-2

ESVOh that you were like a brother to me who nursed at my mother’s breasts! If I found you outside, I would kiss you, and none would despise me. I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother— she who used to teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranate.
NIVIf only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. 2 I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house— she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.
NLTOh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. 2 I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.
NASBOh that you were like a brother to me, Who nursed at my mother’s breasts. If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you; No one would despise me, either. 2 I would lead you and bring you Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me; I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.

Also see Is Racism A Sin? to learn more.

Also see:

Bible verses about oral sex

References:
[1] Source

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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